12 Social Skills You Need to Succeed in Life

· September 23, 2015

In almost all areas of our lives the ability to interact effectively with others — in other words, good social skills — make a huge difference. Social skills help us navigate social situations, integrate ourselves into groups, and communicate effectively.

Maybe you aren’t the smartest, the most attractive, the most prepared, or the most qualified, but if you have solid social skills, it is much easier to succeed, in both your personal and professional life. 

Fortunately, social skills can be learned and developed with practice, in the same way language can be learned. So if you don’t yet feel confident in your social skills, don’t worry; they can be improved with practice. While it may be harder for some people more than others, it does not mean it isn’t possible.

Do you want to know which social skills will lead you to success in every area of your life? Take note of the following list — you probably already possess many of these skills — and then get practicing!

1 – Optimism 

Optimism helps you see life through a positive lens and not be weighed down by negative thoughts. Optimism is important on a personal, social, educational and professional level. And the best part: being positive attracts other people like a magnet. 

2 – Compassion

Those with compassion are conscious of the suffering of others, and have a natural desire to help relieve that suffering. This is another social skill that will help you succeed in every aspect of your life, because everybody likes being surrounded by people who care about others.

3 – Discipline

Being disciplined means behaving in a way that aligns with a set of norms, customs, laws, policies, or other guidelines that are either imposed or socially accepted. A disciplined person voluntarily complies to the rules of a particular environment. This shows self-control and leads to acceptance by the other members of the group or society. 


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4 – Diligence 

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Diligence is the mother of luck.” Being diligent in your work is the only way to build credibility for what you do. It is clear when one has worked very hard to achieve something, and only through that dedication can respect and recognition be gained.

5 – Patience 

The majority of frustrations we encounter on a daily basis are, in one way or another, related to other people. Traffic jams, delays, internet or electric trouble, disruptive noises around us. But all these things are normal, and happen everywhere.

Can they be avoided? Sometimes, maybe, but avoiding a difficult situation won’t necessarily prevent you from feeling frustrated or annoyed, or from other things bothering you in the future. So, instead of playing the game of finding the guilty party, relax and try not to create more tension in your environment by making more noise and bothering those around you. Be patient. 

6 – Kindness 

Practicing kindness means being accesible to others and willing to listen to them with compassion and sympathy. There is no doubt that this ability is essential when relating to other people. People who go through life looking down on others, speaking with self-importance, and believing they are better than others, will not go far socially.

7 – Courtesy 

The concept of courtesy is one that may seem out of date, but as it has been said, “A courteous act is not a cowardly one.” This Spanish proverb says it all. Courtesy is a way of showing respect towards others, and it goes a long way. Those who are well-mannered will always have more opportunities to succeed because being courteous implies valuing and respecting others. 

8 – Listening

Successful people aren’t only great talkers. They are also great listeners, and they give importance to what other people have to say. Without the capacity to listen attentively, not only will you be unable to learn and exchange information, but you will also miss out on constructive criticism that could help you improve yourself. 

9 – Forgiving

Sometimes, it is hard to forgive. However, those who have great success in life make an effort to try and not take things too personally. Keep in mind that resentment deprives us of opportunities to deepen our relationships and connect positively with those around us.

10 – Resilience 

Resilience is the ability to overcome emotional pain and adverse situations. This ability gives us the power to survive and prosper, no matter what environment we are in. For resilient people, failure is valuable information, not just a dead end.

11 – Responsibility

Successful people own up to their problems and mistakes, take responsibility for their own actions, and work to improve themselves. Other people like this quality, in any area of life, because everyone values a person who knows how to take responsibility for themselves, and cares about solving their problems. Doing the opposite means an added burden for others that nobody wants.

12 – Honesty 

Honest people tell the truth, are reasonable, fair, honorable, and act with integrity. Honesty shows respect for oneself and for others. Additionally, it does not only mean speaking the truth, but also accepting it. This social skill makes us more confident, which is very important. If you are trusted by others, you will find success in anything you attempt, and you will gain credibility.

“The most important ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” 

-Theodore Roosevelt-